13th December 2023

    Santas jog for a cause: Pilgrims Hospices festive fundraiser raises over £26,000

    On a chilly Sunday morning, the Herne Bay seafront transformed into a sea of red and white as more than 1,100 Santas gathered for Pilgrims Hospice’s annual festive fundraiser. The jolly event, held on Sunday 10th, December, saw enthusiastic participants donning Santa Claus costumes and jogging along the picturesque coastline to support end-of-life care in east Kent.


    We are immensely grateful for the incredible turnout and the generosity of our supporters, who jogged their way into the hearts of our community.”

    Rachael      –      Pilgrims

    Organised by Pilgrims Hospices, a leading provider of hospice care in the region, the festive fundraiser brought together the community in a heartwarming display of solidarity. Rachael Edmed, a dedicated Community Fundraising Manager at Pilgrims Hospices, expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support from participants and donors.

    “The festive spirit was alive and well on the Herne Bay seafront as Santas of all ages, shapes, and sizes gathered to make a meaningful difference,” said Rachael.  “We are immensely grateful for the incredible turnout and the generosity of our supporters, who jogged their way into the hearts of our community.”

    The event, which exceeded expectations, is anticipated to raise more than £26,000. These funds will play a crucial role in sustaining and enhancing end-of-life care services provided by Pilgrims Hospices in east Kent. The contributions will directly impact the lives of individuals and families facing challenging times, ensuring they receive compassionate care and support.

    Pilgrims Hospices has been a pillar of strength in the community, offering specialised care for those with life-limiting illnesses for more than 40 years. The success of the festive fundraiser underscores the community’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality end-of-life care when they need it the most.

    As the holiday season continues, Pilgrims Hospices extends its gratitude to all the Santas, sponsors, and volunteers who made this event possible. The funds raised will go a long way in providing comfort, dignity, and support to those navigating their end-of-life journey in east Kent.

    This year alone, Pilgrims Hospices has to raise £11 million through voluntary donations in order to run our full range of services. Sponsorship raised through events like these helps us continue caring for local people at the end of their lives.

    23rd October 2023

    Pilgrims Hospices jolliest jog of the year

    The countdown to Christmas has started with registration opening for Herne Bay’s festive family fun run in aid of Pilgrims Hospices.

    The charity’s jolliest jog of the year is returning to Herne Bay’s scenic seafront on Sunday the 10 December and new to this year will be a 10K route to accompany the 3K and 5K distances.

    Since 2017, Santas on the Run! in Herne Bay has raised over £118,000 for Pilgrims Hospices for the charity who gives  care and support to people in east Kent who are coping with an incurable illness.

    The route will see the Santas start at the Clocktower and run along the seafront before returning for their well-deserved festive medals.







    Whilst dressing up there will also be festive music to get you into the holiday spirit and Christmas cheer stations to jingle joggers along their way.

    Senior Fundraising Officer Rachael Edmed said: “Santas on the Run! is such a fun event for everyone and all levels of fitness. In previous years we’ve had one-year olds in prams and people in their 80’s. We’re really excited to introduce the new 10K route this year for participants that would like more of a challenge.

    Every pound raised will make a difference to the families being cared for this Christmas. Every participant will be helping patients, and their families enjoy the festive season together, and make memories that they can treasure.

    Early bird entry (closes 22nd October) is adults: £12, under 18s: £8, family ticket: £35 (includes 2 adults & 2 under 18s).

    Advanced entry (closes 3rd December) is adults: £16 Under 18s: £10 Family ticket: £45 (includes2 adults & 2 under 18s).

    To find out more visit: https://www.pilgrimshospices.org/event/santas-on-the-run-2023/

    Each year Pilgrims supports thousands of local people coping with a life-limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services: from end-of-life care given on its wards, to its Wellbeing Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.

    19th December 2019

    Santas on the Run – Tri Series, a ho ho hospice success

    Three jolly jogs, over three consecutive weekends, in three festive coastal towns where more than 1,500 red suited and bearded fun runners of all ages raised thousands for their local palliative care provider, Pilgrims Hospices.

    Three charity Santas on the Run events took place during November and December in Herne Bay, Folkestone and Margate. The Santas ran, jogged, skipped and walked their way along the 3K or 5K routes in the beautiful coastal towns in support of the charity who provides end-of-life care across east Kent in people’s homes, within its Therapy Centres and wards at the hospices in Canterbury, Margate and Ashford.

    Everyone was there for a very good Claus, including well over 150 elf volunteers who were all acting as Santas helpers on the day.

    Kate Duddell, Pilgrims Fundraising Manager said: “The Santas on the Bay, (Herne Bay) started three years ago and is now well established as an important date on our supporter’s calendars, the event has raised more than £67,000 in the last two years. For 2019, early estimations show we will raise in excess of £50,000 for the Tri Series and we certainly believe in the countdown to Christmas”.

    The two additional fun festive runs brought a new dimension to the already popular event. The Santas on the Bay (Herne Bay) included GB athlete and Pilgrims ambassador, Yiannis Christodoulou taking part and the runners were set off by the Lord Mayor of Canterbury.

    On to Folkestone Harbour Arm with Santas on the Harbour, and a new event area for Pilgrims, with two finish lines, here the magic of Christmas saw Pilgrims featured on Sunday evening TV news. Finally, in Margate, where we had Santas on the Seashore, and Santa himself in his grotto.

    Our Tri challengers, who registered to take part in all three jolly jogs collected stamps in their Christmas cards at each event to be awarded their 4th and most impressive ‘gold present’ Tri-Series medal for completing all three.

    “It was just the thing to get the whole family, neighbours, friends, schools and work colleagues into the festive spirit whilst raising vital funds for local hospice care this Christmas.” Kate added.

    We are totally in debt to our wonderful supporters for helping Pilgrims to stage such a fun filled Tri Series.

    Kate Duddell, Pilgrims Hospices

    Supporters with sleighs, buggies and wheelchairs also joined in the fun with this inclusive event, every £1 raised will be helping Pilgrims clinical team to provide the very best care for those who need it the most.

    Santas big and small took part from as far afield as Northampton; Ben Ackers and his dad Tony were visiting family in Margate and decide to join and raise money for this important charity. Young Ben was the first Santa back on the day.

    The fundraising teams from all three hospices brought the festive events together, involving a huge number of volunteer elves, sponsors and staff all giving their time to help the charity raise as much as possible during the festive season.

    Kate said: “We are totally in debt to our wonderful supporters for helping Pilgrims to stage such a fun filled Tri Series and a lot of ho ho ho Christmas fun. Everyone’s efforts will help our team to give patients the very best care and attention at such difficult times.  After all, it’s all in a good Claus! You never know which festive character will be visiting each coastal town next year.”

    Pilgrims Hospices will be sharing information on all of its fabulous fundraising events for 2020 very soon. Watch out for new events and challenges appearing on Pilgrims Hospices website:


    Thank you to all of our wonderful supporters, you are just amazing,

    Merry Christmas!

    Did you know? Pilgrims Hospices has to raise £11 million through voluntary donations in order to run our full range of services. Sponsorship raised through events like these helps us to continue caring for local people at the end of their lives.

    31st October 2019

    Folkestone Channel Rotary hand over the sleigh reigns after more than a decade of Santas Fun Runs

    Pilgrims Hospices are incredibly excited to be taking up the sleigh reigns of the fabulous Folkestone Channel Rotary’s Santas Charity Fun Run. The local charity will merge the well-known and much-loved Folkestone festive run with their own already successful Santas on the Run fundraiser. Folkestone Channel Rotary will continue to offer Pilgrims event support, ensuring this important local experience continues to be a popular festive feature in Folkestone and to help the fundraiser to grow from strength to strength.

    Folkestone Channel Rotary hosted the Folkestone Santa Charity Fun Run for 14 years and raised an incredible £110,000 for local charities over that time. They have decided to invest and focus this success in to the growth of other important local events such as their triathlon, cycle ride and more.

    Come and register for the jolliest jog of the year!

    Louise Newman, Community Fundraising Manager

    Louise Newman, Pilgrims Hospices Community Fundraising Manager said:When Folkestone Channel Rotary approached us with the offer of the Santas fun run earlier in the year, we thought it to be a perfect match. My team responded with an enthusiastic and delighted yes please!

    “I would just like to add a massive thank you for all the help and support that Folkstone Channel Rotary are giving us in the run up to our new ‘Santas on the Run’ event.

    “We are very grateful they have passed on this fantastic community event; we intend to continue building on the success Folkestone Channel Rotary has achieved with this truly entertaining festive run and, important fundraiser for local hospice care.”

    Counting down to Christmas

    Click here for more event information or to register for the jolliest jog of the year and help raise much needed funds for local hospice care.

    Santas on the Run! is an event for everyone, you can walk, run, jump or skip along the seafront with friends and family to get you all in the Christmas spirit. Join your local 3k or 5k fun run or challenge yourself to all 3 and join our tri-series! You’ll get to enjoy Christmas come early in 3 seaside towns whilst testing yourself to complete 3 festive fun runs, and you’ll get 3 festive medals plus a special fourth Christmas present medal for completing the challenge!

    Edwin Beddy, President of Folkestone Channel Rotary told us: “Channel Rotary has been a firm supporter of Pilgrims Hospices over the years and we have developed a close and happy association.

    “Our annual Folkestone Santa Run has been a firm favourite in the Kent Christmas programme since 2004 and has raised over £75,000 for local charities including Pilgrims Hospices.

    “We now feel it is the right time for the Santa Run to become a much larger spectacle for the benefit of the broader Kent community and so have agreed that future runs will be organised by Pilgrims Hospices in association with Channel Rotary.

    “We wish Pilgrims every success as they expand the Folkestone Santa Run into additional runs in Herne Bay and Margate between 1st and 15th December and look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

    You can join in with the fun and register with our Early Bird pricing at pilgrimshospices.org/santa.

    Check out event registration information here.

    Folkestone Channel Rotary are a group of nearly 50 like-minded people from all walks of life, active and retired, who work together to support the community of South East Kent with funds and many hours of hands on expertise. The rotary club generously support many local charities and good causes in east Kent, Pilgrims Hospices being one of these. Folkestone Channel Rotary has raised over of £14,000 for local hospice care since 2001. Among many methods of fundraising, over £5,000 has been raised through the rotary club’s donation from their annual Santa Charity Fun Run.

    If you or someone you know is coping with a life limiting illness and you think you may benefit from Pilgrims support, talk to your GP or Healthcare Professional about the options or click here to read about our Wellbeing Programme.

    15th November 2018

    Wahl team join 100s of Santas to support Pilgrims

    Santas on the Run is taking place in Herne Bay for the second time on Sunday 2 December. The event is becoming a firm festive favourite for families to fundraise for Pilgrims in the Christmas period, with over 700 supporters already registered for the festive 3k or 5k fun run.

    A team of staff, family and friends from Wahl (UK) Limited are taking part in this year’s event. The local business who are well known for their hair care products globally are also the generous headline sponsors of Pilgrims Hospices festive fundraiser.

    Wahl team member Martin Lindridge from the graphics department told us: “We have around 35 Santas registered so far to help raise funds for Pilgrims, and there may even be more joining our team on the day.


    “I really wanted to get involved, having had some personal experience of the charity’s special care when my sister, Debbie Purcell, was cared for at the Canterbury hospice in May of this year.

    “Debbie who lived in Whitstable had myeloma cancer, she was only 52 and had several admissions as a patient on the hospice ward in order to help manage her pain and symptoms.

    I’m very pleased to help support such an important charity within our community.

    Martin Lindridge, Wahl UK

    “She always spoke highly of the charity who cared for all of us in such difficult times. Nothing was too much trouble and the staff did so much to make her comfortable. It was not just the level of care and support; everyone was so willing to go that extra mile to make every day count. Pilgrims was peaceful and tranquil and Debbie’s room looked out onto the beautiful gardens, which we all found relaxing.

    “I’m very pleased to help support such an important charity within our community.”

    A huge Pilgrims thank you to the staff at Wahl for nominating us as their Charity of the Year


    David Goodman, Managing Director of Wahl UK, said: “Wahl is very proud to support this event. Our staff themselves chose Pilgrims Hospices as their Charity of the Year for 2018, so the Santas on the Run! event will provide a fantastic, fun way to end the year with lots of us getting involved.”

    The Wahl Santas are getting into the festive spirit

    The staff have been selecting and supporting a Charity of the Year since 2015. Prior to this, they still fundraised but stuck to the annual charity days run by all the big national charities. They wanted to bring it closer to home and now aim to support local, independent charities that are close to their hearts.

    “Staff nominate charities then we take a vote, and Pilgrims Hospices won by a very clear majority”, added David.

    Throughout the year staff held a quiz night, parties, bake sales and dressing up competitions, and will have a Christmas jumper day. Wahl will be generously match funding all of the staff fundraising; this will allow double the amount to be donated to hospice care within the east Kent community.

    Last year Santas on the Run! raised an incredible £27,000.

    Lydia, Community Fundraising Officer at Pilgrims Hospices

    Lydia Todd, Pilgrims Community Fundraising Officer, said: “We are delighted to have the wonderful support from Wahl UK, their sponsorship of Santas on the Run! means that more money raised by supporters and participants will go into patient care.

    “Last year Santas on the Run! raised an incredible £27,000, which could pay for as many as 1,350 hours of nursing care.  Wahl will be helping Pilgrims to try and achieve that again this year.

    “I visited the Wahl team recently to deliver their Santa suits, they were brilliant sports and all popped them on for a mini photo shoot. Thank you all so much.”

    To find out how to get involved with Santas on the Run! and register click here, email lydia.todd@pilgrimshospices.org or call 01227 812 621.

    Wahl is an international leader in the manufacturing of products for the professional barber and hairdressing trade, consumer personal care and styling, massagers and animal grooming. Since Leo J. Wahl filed his patent for the first electric hair clipper in 1919, Wahl has remained at the forefront of the industry, with over 90% of barbers now using Wahl.

    Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life-limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services; from end of life care given on its wards, to its Wellbeing and Social Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed, to live well and stay independent.

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